Page 1


























































my books. People keep telling me that I can get all the information I need off the internet, but, to me, there is something very special about holding that book in my hands.


ow! It is Summer already. So much has happened this year, it has been near impossible to keep myself organized. As many of you know, I bought a new home and moved. Well, it’s not exactly new. It is 35 years old and needed a lot of work, so now the repairs are mostly done, everything is painted fresh and new, and I am in the midst of unpacking tons of boxes. I lived in the other house for 15 years and didn’t realize I had collected so much “stuff.” This house is smaller, so much of it has to go. Why is it so hard to turn loose of “stuff?” Every item seems to have some memory attached to it that makes it important to keep. Especially books. You all know how I love

Speaking of books, my on-line tv show, The World of Book Reviews, is going very well. I absolutely love doing it…and I think I’m getting a bit better each time I do it. My favorite part is having the authors on the show and interviewing them. This month I had Vital Germaine, the author of Flying Without a Net. I read the book in one sitting, couldn’t put it down. So, of course, interviewing him was a thrill. What an articulate man! What a classy man! And also, an incredible artist. And speaking of the tv show. You can access it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Also, shows by Aimmee Kodachian and Stephanie Thompson can be found there. This week in Las Vegas, eleven billboards went up advertising the show. So fun,

to be driving down the road and see my own picture up on the billboard along with Aimmee and Stephanie. I am teaching art classes on Saturday to a group of wonderful students. When they finish their first pictures, I will do a story on them and show you their work. I am so very proud of how they are doing. Also, getting ready for my trip to Tanzania and Kenya. The next issue will show you all the pictures of my exciting trip. I signed up for the hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti when the wildebeest are migrating. This has been on my bucket list for years. So excited! Keep in touch. And always remember, You are More Than Enough,


OUR TEAM PUBLISHER Turning Point International EDITOR IN CHIEF Judi Moreo CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jake Naylor COVER PHOTO Judi Moreo by Julez Eve, Ev36 Photography CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Fiona Carmichael, Jim Cathcart, Amber De La Garza, Gina Geldbach-Hall, Holly Duckworth, Ridgely Goldsborough, S.L. Gore, Sheryl Green, Shana Kai, Eric Oestreich, Joan S. Peck, John Polish, Laura Porreca, Alisa Weis, Wilnona & Jade ADDRESS 1452 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy #555 / Henderson, NV 89012-4480 TEL (702) 283-4567 FAX (702) 617-0600 EMAIL WEBSITE





hat headline was hard for me to write, even though I believe it to be true! Our self-esteem is wrapped up in so many things and affected by so many elements. How can it be a choice? Can we really make a choice about how we feel? Yes, we certainly can. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem like it, especially when we are caught up in one of our pity parties. I find the main reason we have self-esteem issues is because we are focusing on the past. Things like, “Everyone had more money than me,” “My parents were abusive,” “My sister made fun of me,” “My marriage didn’t work out,” “I had to wear hand-medown clothes,” “I could never live up to their expectations,” “My first grade teacher threw my picture in the trash, “etc., etc. We can improve our self-esteem by making the choice to modify our destructive thoughts and behaviors. We must reprogram the subconscious portion of our minds. This is the part of our minds that has no judging function,

it only processes information. It follows our instructions. So, it is up to us to instruct it properly in order to create the self-image, self-esteem, and selfconfidence we desire. One of the most effective ways to help your subconscious see things differently is to use “affirmations.” An affirmation is a statement you make to yourself to affirm something is true, even in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Human thought can only affirm, for even when it denies, it is affirming that denial to be true. Repeating an affirmation leads your mind to a state of consciousness that accepts what you wish it to believe. If you wish to be confident, then you use the affirmation, “I am a confident person.” Never attach a negative word to the words, “I am…” Write your affirmation on cards and put them where you will see them several times a day. When you see the affirmation, read it, think about it, think about what it can mean to your life, then repeat it out loud. Make the choice to do this every day, several times a day.

Don’t expect overnight success. Your subconscious has had years of programming to get it to perform the way it does at this time. You aren’t going to undo all of that overnight. If you want to have high self-esteem and you are willing to work at it, it will happen! Another way to choose your selfesteem, is to quit talking about your negative traits and the things that you feel are wrong with you. What we put our attention to is what multiplies in our lives. Instead of criticizing, look for the things you like about yourself and your life. If there is something you can change to make you feel better about yourself, then change it. Don’t whine about it! Most of the things we complain about are things other people wouldn’t have even noticed about us until we brought it to their attention. How can you have high self-esteem when you keep focusing on what’s wrong with you? The image you have of yourself influences all of your experiences. The most important self-esteem builder in our lives is to focus forward and take risks. Set goals that will take you out of your comfort zone. When you achieve

them, you will have developed your inner strength. Accept yourself for who you are and focus on what you want to do, have, and become. There is no one exactly like you. You are one very special individual who was created to be who you are --doing the best you can each day to get the best results life has to offer. Respect yourself. Your primary responsibility is your own physical and emotional well-being. When you are true to yourself and learn to take care of yourself, your self-esteem will grow. Reminding ourselves of our achievements, our worth, and our value to others is imperative. Many of our feelings of insecurity were acquired through someone else’s negative perceptions and influence. Be sure not to let the opinions of others become more important to you than your own opinion of you. You CAN choose to have high selfesteem. You can free yourself from comparison, manipulation, and competition. You can learn to depend on yourself for your own success and your own happiness. You are one of a kind – uniquely yourself – unlike anyone

else. You are the only “you” there is and you are definitely more than enough.


Judi Moreo is the author of the awardwinning book, “You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power” as well as its companion, Achievement Journal. She is a Certified Speaking Professional who has spoken in 28 countries around the world. Less than 10 percent of the speakers in the world hold this highly respected earned designation. To contact Judi or book her for a speaking engagement, contact Turning Point International, (702) 283-4567 or

Are you using your creative energy to make your business more successful? Conquer the Brain Drain is about tapping into the creative wellspring we all possess. If you’re on a team – or especially if you manage one – learning to think creatively and teaching others to do so will boost productivity, improve morale and inspire your team to greater success. Short deadlines, downsizing, increased expectations and the need to do more with less all contribute to “status quo” thinking. Solving business problems and generating new ideas and strategies can’t be accomplished using the same old brain-draining methods. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting the same old results. If you want to build an innovative, creative, problem-solving team, then you need a new approach.


“Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world making the most of one’s best.� __________________ Harry Emerson Fosdick






hen is the last time you did a happy dance? The dance that lets you and anyone watching you know life is good for you? When is the last time you looked into a mirror and ignored your wrinkles and other marks of living a stressful life and were able to exclaim out loud, “Do you know you’re one hot mama, lady?” or “Hey guy, you are one incredible hunk” I mean, said it and felt it? If it’s been awhile, it’s time for you to regroup and get into that space of appreciating who you really are.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I get into a state where I’m able to do my happy dance, events and people do and say things that begin to unravel the great appreciation I have for myself. And I’m not alone. We are continually reminded that life is a constant up and down of feelings as well as good and bad happenings. We often find ourselves buying into the crap, and are willing to accept the premise as something always there which can’t be changed. The reality is there are other people in our lives whether on a personal level or a more distant or superficial one. Through the media we have become ac-

quainted with what is going on around the world and have a bird’s eye view into what other people are doing and saying, which has the power to affect us. So much of what we see and hear is negative… bringing us down to worrying about things over which we have no control. Therein lies the true issue. How can we dance our happy dance with so much in the world going sideways? I have found the best piece of advice on how to live happy and more freely comes from the Serenity Prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to



know the difference.” For me, this says it all. It is when we realize happiness begins and ends within our own power of being that we can become happy, selfassured, confident and worthy of good self-esteem. It increases each time you go to bed at night knowing you have done the best you could during the day to live up to that prayer. This doesn’t mean you won’t have days wishing you could have a do-over. After all, we are human and not perfect in all our choices. So my friends, use some of these words from the Happy Dance song to create your own happy dance: Hey, yeah, you In the back of the room with those concrete shoes It’s okay to cut loose Oh, it ain’t about how you move, but what moves you We’re so consumed with what we think we’re supposed to be That we stop living like we know that we’re free. Go out now and show the world your happy dance!


Joan S. Peck is an editor and author of short stories, spiritual books and a contributing author in two of the books in the Life Choices book series. She also writes for Recovery Today magazine. Her latest book is Prime Threat – Shattering the Power of Addiction, a book written with her son from the other side about what addiction is and how to live without it. It is an uplifting book with him sharing some of his own lifetimes of addiction and what he is doing now to clear them. She can be reached at: (702) 423-4342

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.� __________________ Lucille Ball


m I Going to be Okay? is an American story with a universal message. Ms. Whittam traces her history in the form of stories about her all too human, and sometimes unhinged family; she throws a rope to the little girl living there, and in adulthood, is able to pull her out safely, bit by bit.



Her history is peopled with folks from a different time, a time before therapy was acceptable, 12 steps unimaginable and harsh words, backhands and even harsher silences can be spun to appear almost normal. She writes of a mother who would not or could not initiate love nor give it without condition, and a father, damn near heroic at times, abusive at others, a survivor with his head down and his sleeves rolled up. Ms. Whittam approaches her past with the clear-eyed, tough but sensitive objectivity necessary to untangle the shame from the source. She speaks of the people that affected her life so deeply with an understanding of their time and place in American culture; a family not far removed from immigrant roots when men carried their own water, emoted misplaced anger, and with fresh socks and food found on the trail, were confident, unflinching and at that same time tragically failing to the little ones they ignored. Like many of us, details notwithstanding, Whittam responded by numbing, running and gunning. Alcohol gave her hope, soothed a crushed soul for a time and wrecked her on a train, until finally she had the courage to accept it wasn’t working for her anymore. It was time to stop drinking and take inventory and accountability. It was time to accept, forgive and move forward. She healed where she was broken. It is in the telling of this story that Whittam teaches us the difference between just surviving and surviving well; the importance of shared introspection and a careful eye on the wake we leave behind us in our actions. Her story is a guide to surviving abuse and addiction. It is also about witnessing and dealing with the shrinking faculties of aging parents in the unavoidable circle of life. Finally, she offers a realistic sense of hope, forgiveness and a life we can shake hands with.





he word routines produces visions of structure, formality, rigidity, and restrictions to many. You may hate the idea of routines but have many routines weaved throughout your day. Even spontaneous, free spirits have routines! Routines are simply habits layered on top of each other that are performed in a sequence. Routines can be helpful in keeping you on track toward your goals but problematic if you develop routines

based on bad habits. Such routines negatively affect your productivity and your business. Make a conscious effort to make routines work for you, not against you. Start creating helpful routines by first deciding which actions you could take daily to enable yourself to achieve your goals when compounded over time. Like the famed tortoise, slow and steady will win the race. Never attempt to achieve your goals swiftly with erratic, extreme action. Doing so only guarantees in-

consistent results and neglecting other areas of your business. Instead, create routines that align with your goals, make progress at a manageable pace, and practice bookending. Bookending? Bookending is what I refer to as the productivity technique of starting and ending each day with the same series of good habits day after day. Bookending provides a framework for your time without leaving you feeling trapped by rigid time constraints. As a business owner, your days are often filled with randomness. There are days you have back-to-back appointments and days you can work quietly in your office for hours without a single interruption.


Bookending provides ultimate flexibility in the middle of the day when it’s needed and just the right amount of structure in the morning and at night. The technique affords the opportunity to achieve larger, long-term goals by consistently encouraging purposeful, scheduled action toward those goals at the beginning and end of each day.

HOW TO BOOKEND Step 1: Ditch The Bad And Implement The Good First, identify and write down the habits you already engage in in the morning and at night. Post the list where you will see it whether it is on your phone, mirror, or monitor. Alternatively, you could utilize a habit tracking app that provides feedback such as Habit List for IOS or Habit Bull for Android. Tracking your habits, whether manually or digitally, can be very valuable because it helps you determine which habitual actions you should ditch and which ones you should intentionally implement daily. Step 2: Make The Trigger Method Work For You Next, determine what additional activities you should add to your routine. Choose activities that align with your goals and help you make progress toward achieving them. Use the trigger method to make those activities become habits you do consistently as part of your routines. The trigger method involves purposefully completing a desired activity directly following a habitual activity so that it becomes an automated habit as well. For example, if you want to make posting to social media a daily habit, start doing it immediately after you take your last bite of lunch which you do eve-

ry day anyway. Overtime, posting to social media will become a habit you will engage in everyday following your lunch without having to think about it or set an alert. Using the trigger method is an excellent way of acting with intentionality to transform your good behaviors into consistent habits. Step 3: Work The Flow Until It Feels Good Lastly, you have to rework your routines over and over again until they work for you. The only way to do that is by trial and error. You may create an amazing routine that sounds great on paper but is not feasible in real life. Don’t worry and certainly don’t give up. If you find you are too tired to complete a certain mentally demanding activity in the morning, try doing it at night instead. Conversely, if you find you are too riled up in the evening to close your eyes, inhale deeply, and meditate, try doing it in the morning instead. Everyone’s ultradian rhythms are different so what works for others may not work for you. Rework the numerous layers of your bookend routines until the flow feels good to you while still helping you progress toward your goals. When you are overwhelmed, as is all too often the case for busy business owners, it is not the time to throw your routines out the window. Instead, it is the time to cling to your routines like a life raft that has the potential to save you from crashing ocean waves. When engineered to align with your personal style, schedule, and goals, routines offer much needed stability. Purposefully bookend your day with routines to provide just the right ratio of structure to flexibility to keep you progressing toward your goals at a productive and manageable pace.


Amber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber is a sought-after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, and the host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast. She helps entrepreneurs take consistent, massive, focused action in your business and equips you with the specific techniques you need to reduce your stress, increase your profits, make more time for what matters most, and achieve your vision of success.

Download Free Resource => 10 Ways You’re SCREWING Your Productivity STOP SCREWING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY! Many of the habits you’re engaging in, although (possibly) well-intentioned, actually hinder you from achieving far more. They’re costing you time, money, energy, lost opportunities, and clients.


The Life Choices books are a series in which real people share their stories of overcoming obstacles, putting lives back together and following their passions to create successful, significant lives.

LIFE CHOICES SERIES While the stories shared differ in context, they share a common thread of courage, hope and fulfillment. No matter what obstacles you encounter, or how many pieces your life is in, there is a way to find a new path, make a new choice, follow your passion and create a better life.

Click to Order: Life Choices: Complete Series - $45


If you have ever had a dream that you wanted to pursue but didn’t have the courage, if you’ve ever wanted to do something that you didn’t think you could do, if you have ever wanted to go somewhere but didn’t believe it was possible - READ THIS BOOK. Twentysix authors share with you how they pursued their passions and made their dreams become reality.

Should you find yourself in circumstances that require the making of difficult choices, the stories in this book can offer you courage and inspiration. Each author has addressed hurdles they have faced in order to reach their current level of success. It is a collection of powerful true stories written by real people who have overcome the obstacles in their paths.

This empowering collection of stories reminds us that we all have choices and the choices we make are what determine the course of our lives. The authors of these stories are real people who have reached into the depths of their souls to share their inspiring journeys when navigating the difficult paths of their lives.

LIFE CHOICES SERIES CLICK ON THE COVER IMAGES TO ORDER No matter who you are, how old you are or your level of success, it is never too late to make the choice to be who you are meant to be. Don’t be afraid to make changes. Don’t be afraid to make an attempt to achieve your goals.

Within the chapters of this book, 28 authors tell their stories and share the lessons they have learned. Their enlightened knowledge can serve as inspiration for finding your own path to the understanding that it is never too late.





henever I hear the term “self-esteem,” I’m reminded of Stuart Smalley, a character on Saturday Night Live, standing in front of his mirror and saying his affirmation: “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And gosh darn it, people like me.” I look at self-esteem a little bit differently than most. Improving your self-esteem is important, but the first step is improving yourself to be someone you can hold in esteem. Before you get offended and fan yourself while saying, “Why I never!” in a Southern accent, let me clarify. I

believe everyone has the right to love him or her self. Sometimes, we have to adjust our behaviors first. Dr. Nathaniel Branden (known as the Father of the Self-Esteem movement) breaks self-esteem down into Six Pillars or six characteristics that contribute to your level of “I love myself-itis” (my words, not his). Let me explain a few of those as I understand them and how you can improve where you stand. The Practice of Self-Responsibility Never ever, ever, ever label yourself as a victim. Ever. When you believe that

someone else has control over your life, you give away your power to change your circumstances. You are responsible for your actions. You are responsible for your choices. You are responsible for your decisions. When you accept and embrace that, you give yourself the power to improve your life. The Practice of Self-Assertiveness Be the real you. Are you living your life or the life that someone else has decided on for you? Self- assertiveness means being authentic despite outer influences. (Greek lesson: “auth” is from the Greek prefix “auto” meaning


one’s self). It’s hard to feel good about yourself when the self you are being, isn’t yourself (say that five times fast!). The Practice of Living Purposefully Why are you here? I believe we were all put on this earth to make it a better place, whether that’s through our chosen profession, the raising of children who become upstanding citizens, or my personal favorite: our volunteer work. You are here to make a difference and leave a legacy. What will you leave behind when you die? Are you working towards that now? The Practice of Personal Integrity Let’s take a closer look at our friend from Saturday Night Live. Stuart’s closing line: “People like me.” Are you giving people a reason to like you? I’m not talking about having weak boundaries or being a people pleaser. I’m talking about integrity, trustworthiness, kindness and respect. When you say that you will do something for a friend, do you? Do you keep your word in your personal and business relationships? Do you show kindness to others with your words and your actions? Do you show people the respect that they deserve? If you are slacking in any of these areas, it’s time to work on becoming someone you like. It’s all well and good to affirm your worthiness as a human being and to work on improving your selfesteem. Just make sure that you take responsibility for your actions, that your life is an expression of your true self, that you are helping to make the world a better place, and you are living a life of integrity. Then you can stand proudly in the mirror and say: “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And gosh darn it, people like me!”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


After a devastating divorce and the realization that she was playing a secondary character in her own life, Sheryl Green experienced a deep depression. She used volunteerism and a variety of other tools to lift herself up and now helps others become the main character in their own lives. A passionate animal advocate and rescuer, she approaches life and speaking with humor and heart. She’ll help you uncover a life filled with passion, purpose, and possibly puppies. Find her at and see her live at the Unstuck Happiness Conference on August 19th in Las Vegas. Visit for more information.


heroine is strong, decisive, and everything a partner could want in his or her life. In fact, her input is invaluable to the characters and the reader by the story’s end. The ideal of a heroine is the reflection that is answering back to us in the surfaces of life decisions and consequences.


On days when there is nothing but time, (those are far and few in between) I spend time, maybe too much in that mirror of my life. Often when standing there I absentmindedly pull out the measuring tape of a heroine from a beloved movie, Scarlet O’Hara to name one, or a book, Stephanie Plum, and I find myself ticking off the inches of improvement to be made so I literally measure up. I pin, tuck, grab a seam ripper, and stitch in a dart or two when I need to. The garment of my creation is my view of myself. If only material were as easily molded as the perception of what is staring back in the mirror. Over the years, the development of measurements for women has changed thereby changing the external markers for women. It’s like sewing for a client who has gained thirty pounds since her last fitting. The product will never fit. This is a lesson I learned metaphorically a few years back, and, no, I didn’t gain thirty pounds before a fitting, in case that was a concern of yours. On the other hand, I did figure out that measuring one’s self by the standards of a perfect heroine is asinine. Yes, I am aware that everyone, or close to everyone knows that already, but here for me is where the problem takes root. If the measurement system is skewed by the maximum being unachievable then the whole system is flawed. Imagine that the marker of perfection is far less than perfect which puts me at a disad-


vantage, because my milestones of selfworth were set on a heroine who would never be me, nor I her. In that moment, I felt like a child staring up at a six foot tall man and thinking he is a human sky scraper. Along with this realization came packaged a new one. Yet again, it was obvious, I had the wrong measuring tape of self-esteem, so I was making the incorrect garment of self-realization. Now, I had the question of why self-realization directly correlated with esteem. In honesty, that was a puzzle piece that just didn’t fit in until I remembered some advice a school teacher gave me, “No

one knows you messed up unless you let them know.“ My mistakes were my own guidebook written as I saw fit and how I dealt with the consequences were my chapters weaved together by the stitches of my life. It is not necessarily the way I wished it to be, but the way I am. This in whole made me the patchwork of a heroine, and those are the best kind. You must admit the perfect heroine is kinda boring. I threw out the measuring tape and now when I look at a reflection by metaphor or literal, I see me…just me and my description of perfection, I love it that way. I am a patchwork heroine.




our self-image is either your greatest asset or your greatest liability. Your self-image is your picture of yourself. It is your opinion of yourself. It is your value judgment about yourself and this image of yourself that you carry with you out into the world; it helps shape the caliber of your experiences. During every moment of our lives, we program or allow others to program our self-image to work for us or against us. Since it is only a process, having no judging function, it strives to meet the attitudes and beliefs we set for it, regardless of whether they are positive or negative, true or false, right or wrong, safe or dangerous. It’s only function is to follow our previous instructions, implicitly, like a personal computer playing back what is stored – responding automatically.

You always behave consistently with the picture you hold of yourself on the inside. Because of this, you can improve your performance by deliberately changing the mental pictures that you hold about yourself in that area. This process of self-image modification is one of the fastest and most dependable ways to improve your performance. As you begin to see yourself and think about yourself as more competent and confident, your behavior becomes more focused and effective. When you deliberately change your self-image, you’ll walk, talk, act, and feel better than you ever have before. You will change both your personality and your results by changing your mental images. You can use your imagination to enhance your self-image and give you a new life. Imagination can be used as a

tool for happiness and a constructor of a healthy self-image. Successful people use their imagination to prepare themselves for successful experiences. When you use mental picturing to get what you want, maybe a pay raise, and you picture a positive outcome, you have used your imagination to image the self you’d like to be and see yourself in new roles. You can change your personality, become more whole than you’ve ever been, if you build a stronger self-image. To get more out of life, you must learn to use your imagination by developing new ways of thinking and imaging so that you will build a strong, reality-oriented self-image, which will give nourishment to your success.


You formed your present self-image from mental pictures of yourself in the past, growing out of judgments you placed on your experiences in life. If you are willing to change, remember this: change will not come without effort! You must work hard to realize inspiring results.

Honor your limitations. Once you are aware of your breaking points, use this knowledge to help yourself. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits just to prove to other people that you are courageous. It takes courage to make decisions for yourself, even if some people may sneer at you.

If you work tirelessly to change this conception of yourself, seeing yourself with ever increasing tolerance, believing in yourself with more and more conviction, you will find this state of relaxation that you seek is required to assist you in the full use of your imagination.

Always be true to yourself. None of us likes the friend who smiles on us when we are rich and disappears when we have lost our money. It is the same way with you. If you admire your own strength and hate your weakness, you are not being true to yourself. Your selfimage will never be steady; you’ll never be happy. Accept yourself when you hit rock bottom and you have a foundation for growth.

Accepting your weaknesses will fortify your self-image. If you make peace with your weaknesses, you will fortify your self-image. In ceasing to criticize yourself, you will place emphasis on the “plus” factors in your personality. You will look for things to like in yourself, and you will find them. In accepting your weaknesses, you accept yourself as a total human being with the assets and liabilities to which you are heir. Your strength lies in accepting your weaknesses and then trying to rise above failure to success. When I talk about accepting your weaknesses, I don’t mean that you resign yourself to permanent, self-induced inadequacies. These hints will help you: Learn your limitations. We all have our breaking points, physical and mental. They vary with the individual; some people can stand up under some forms of pressure but will buckle under other stresses. Stop criticizing yourself for being “weak” and instead get in the habit of recognizing your limitations.

The wrong self-image has kept you from releasing your unlimited potential. In learning to live with yourself, the final key must be the health of your selfimage. If you see yourself realistically giving yourself the respect you deserve, picturing your successes and your loving feelings, keeping faith with yourself in spite of your faults, forgiving yourself for your mistakes, then you have found the secret of living with yourself without fear.

One word of caution here: Don’t resign yourself to weakness. With full awareness of your limitations, you plan your days optimistically accepting them and yet rising above them to your full potential strength. You should make peace with your failings, forget about them, and move onto your daily goals – all in the process of living. Understand that a person with a strong self-image sees failure as part of life; he understands his failures are inevitable, but never regards himself as a failure.


A healthy self-image can make you likable to other people. People crave good company. They may mask this desire because they are afraid of rejection. But they feel this need deeply. It is a basic need, almost as essential as the need to appease one’s hunger with food. If your self-image gives you strength to be a considerate person, you will never feel starved for company.

Fiona Carmichael is the co-author of “Conquer The Brain Drain”, “Ignite The Spark” and “Ordinary Women … Extraordinary Success” as well as cofounder of Turning Point International. Fiona’s greatest desire is to empower people to live purposeful and meaningful lives and she has committed her life to helping and supporting others to realize that every person holds the roadmap to his or her own destiny.




Vital Germaine is a Belgian National with a British accent, born in The Democratic Republic of Congo, who defied the odds and pursued the American dream by way of a FrenchCanadian circus. But not just any circus! Le Cirque du Soleil. He performed in Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère and Quidam for over five years. He has been living in Las Vegas for the past 25 years. He studied Modern Languages and Communications in Belgium and is fluent in English, French and Dutch. He continued his education in the United States, studying literature, fine art and business at UNLV and The College of Southern Nevada. Since leaving Cirque, Vital started an entertainment production company that produced live events. Later, he followed a new-found sense of purpose and passion and started a consulting company, ENGAGE, that focuses on leadership, inspiration, and team development. Vital has become a reputable, dynamic and engaging public speaker, corporate trainer, and facilitator. He delivers

relevant, impactful and transformational keynotes that inspire individuals and organizations to experience paradigm shifts that allow them to spread their wings and Fly Without A Net. In addition, when he is not working and writing, Vital expresses himself through his paintings which have been exhibited in several high-end art galleries across the US including the Jacob Javits Center in New York. He has been called a modern-day renaissance man and is always curious to explore, discover and grow even if he experiences failure along the way. I first discovered Vital on the internet through his wonderful paintings and we became friends immediately. It was only recently that we met in person when we were both in attendance at a National Speakers Association meeting in Las Vegas. It was at that time when he gave me a copy of his wonderful book, Flying Without a Net. It was such an intriguing book that once I started it, I couldn’t put it down and read straight through the night into the next day. After that, I interviewed Vital on my television show, The World of Book Reviews, and found him to be articulate, fun, and as interesting as the book.

He then gave me a copy of his second book, Flying Without A Net 2.0, which was even better than his first book. Of course, you must read the first one to really understand the perseverance, attitude, and courage it took to make this second book happen. There were so many lessons in the first five pages that I once again found myself reading the book straight through….no stopping for anything until I had finished reading the entire book. Now, I’m waiting for book number 3. I thought you would enjoy knowing more about this incredible person, so I interviewed him for this article. I am sure you will enjoy it! Where did you grow up? What things were you actively engaged in as a child? I grew up in several places. Predominantly in London (aged 3-16.5) and then in a small coastal town in Belgium called Blankenberge. I was heavily into soccer and once played for the National Youth Team of Belgium (U18).


When did you know you wanted to be an entertainer? An elementary teacher once took me to the theater and opera and I was fascinated by the stage and wondered how one became one of those people on stage. It wasn’t until 15 years later that I took the first steps to becoming a performer. Some seeds take longer to germinate :)

How did you start? My very first theatre experience was in London at the age of eight (Group 64 local theatre in Putney, London). I hated it because i was so shy and it was silly. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced? The biggest challenge of my life was growing up in a home without parents and love. What is one thing you wish you had known earlier in your career? Where to start??? The one thing might be “I wish I had started my venture SOONER and hadn’t waited to explore but dove in. Why did you decide to write a book? The initial seed had been planted as a child, conversing with my older

brothers…. “We should write a book about this life.” The first words were put to paper around 2004. I had so much to learn about American grammar (over English grammar), let alone how to write a book. Where can someone get a copy of your book? OR Amazon. Tell us about your second book, please. It is the sequel to book 1. Book 2 is called, FLYING WITHOUT A NET 2.0. Neither book is written in a linear fashion. Book 2 reveals some answers that book one teasingly left out. 2.0 is written in a more mature voice and intentionally has more direct lessons. It is perhaps more “motivational”


than just an inspirational story about the power of the human spirit and its resilience to overcome challenge and find success. It relates to Vital, the adult, finding and trailblazing his way to living his American dream and the magic of New York and auditioning for the most celebrated circus of our generation. When and why did you decide to become a speaker? The curiosity was sparked back in about 2006 while I owned an entertainment company. I had produced several corporate shows that had speakers. I

was curious as to how they came to do what they did. Yet again, the seed took a while to germinate. What is your proudest moment? I’m not sure I can break my life down to a singular proud moment. There have been many proud moments via

achievements: Belgian National Soccer Youth Team- Getting a dance scholarship in Manhattan - Running away with Cirque du Soleil (probably the most defining moment) - Having the courage follow my passion and dream to risk it all to come to America (it was scary!). Ultimately the “proudest” feeling (not moment) is the hope that my Mom is proud of my character and the man I have become. When did you first know you had talent as an artist? As a child, I was good at drawing, I could dance like Michael Jackson and get attention… but I couldn’t sing to save my life. In terms of painting, I discovered that when I randomly chose a painting class at UNLV in about 1996. I fell in love with oils and the canvas. It allowed me to say and express so much under my terms without saying anything with words.


What’s the best advice you were ever given? That you can become whatever you truly desire (as a child) “That not all the people can be wrong all the time” - given to me while in Cirque du Soleil. It opened my mind to be more empathetic and considerate of the perspective and need of others. What makes a great painting? The great paintings evoke an emotion, provoke thought, have a “balanced” composition, capture the passion of the artist… sometimes however, a great painting is purely about the master craftsmanship regardless of the emotional value. If a painting captures my imagination and heart, I consider it great. Of all your works, do you have a favorite? I have many favorites that relate to a specific period and milestone of my artistic journey. The personal value is based on the euphoric feeling upon completion, combined with the learning curve and objective achieved level, and some are purely esthetically pleasing to

me and make me feel good about my artistic expression.

What were the biggest surprises you’ve encountered in life?

What inspires you?

When my father told me that he was my father when I was 16.5 and that my mother had passed away two weeks prior.

I am inspired by too many things. I find inspiration from people watching at the airport, to something somebody didn’t say, to a truck filled with rubble, to the sight of a breeze, to my own fluctuating emotions. Who inspires you? Predominantly people who have overcome adversity and whose passion is evident: Nelson Mandela, Mohammed Ali, George Best (soccer player), friends, Sir Richard Branson, Picasso, people with drive, people with strong character with their hearts in the right place… and the underdog who defies the odds.


What was the most important decision you’ve ever made? Leaving Belgium to pursue my American Dream. What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in the arts? Develop business skills!!! Where to from here? What’s next for Vital Germaine? The current mission is to strengthen my communication platform as a speaker and author to inspire and empower as many people as I can… to fly without a net. What’s next? I don’t know but when it’s time, I’ll commit with everything that my soul has to offer. I have no doubt of that. In just the short time I have been around you, I have experienced your incredible resolve. Your writing is amazing. You create wonderful word pictures, as well as fabulous paintings. I have truly become one of your biggest fans. I wish you even more success.

“People are like stainedglass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


n the 1980s, I was hired by Terry Cole-Whittaker to lead a planning retreat for her leadership team. She was a new-thought leader who at the time had a NY Times bestseller “What You Think of Me is None of my Business.” The basic premise of her book is that we need to be inner-directed instead of worrying first about what others think. I agree. And if you drill down even further into that vein of thought you’ll arrive at the question, “What do you think about yourself?”


That’s the question I’d like to address with you today. What you think of yourself is absolutely “your business.” in fact, it is at the core of much of your life. If you don’t respect yourself, then you


surely won’t respect others unless they have power over you. If you don’t value yourself then you’ll view others as more important than you, therefore, you’ll follow or obey them instead of heeding your own best instincts and judgment. If you don’t believe in yourself, then you’re making a group of assumptions that have some pretty dismal conclusions. For example: if you don’t believe in you, then you will believe in others even when your gut tells you that something is wrong. That’s how people end up in cults or blindly following a corrupt leader. It also means that you assume

that your Creator wasn’t thinking very clearly when he created you. After all, if you’re faulty, then obviously you don’t matter and he wasn’t paying attention that day. Enough! It is clear that, despite religious interpretations, we were created. We’re not just biological coincidences. Nothing as miraculous as human life could be a mere spontaneous accident of nature, even over millions of years of evolution. Humans matter and therefore YOU matter! Whoever created you did so intentionally. Intentionally.


That means that you are here for a reason. Maybe to change the world, or maybe to change someone else’s experience. Despite any flaws you feel you possess, you also possess the ability to make this world better. You can encourage others, offer a smile or pat on the back. You can point out strengths and acknowledge the good behaviors of others. You can fix things, remove obstacles, organize things, clarify ideas, suggest better words to express thoughts or feelings. You can plant a tree, pet a dog, draw a cartoon, paint a wall or fold a towel. These very small and very large actions all add up to determine how this world will be. You can prevent an accident, call for assistance, sound a warning or lead people to safety. None of these things requires advanced intellect, certificates or degrees, nor high-level skills. Every day is filled with people to assist and needs to be filled. Problems big and small are begging to be solved and, in many cases, YOU are

in a position to make them better. You, not someone else, you…can make a difference today. You matter. And we need you. You see, when you or I choose not to act, when we sit by and do nothing proactive, then other forces control the outcomes. If I can warn others of danger and I don’t, then it’s me who made things worse. If I can encourage a disheartened person and I don’t, then I’m the reason they become further depressed. We need YOU. You matter my friend. You really do. It doesn’t matter whether others respect you, criticize you, blame you, yell at you. What they think of you is a symptom of their issues, not yours. Sure it hurts when others are mean to us. All of us have been bullied, put down, blamed, criticized and hurt by others. But we shouldn’t be adding to the damage by disrespecting ourselves.

Your Business. You are a unique creation, the only you who has ever existed. The only one. You have the chance to make a difference every day. Please do so. You matter. “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. (Why does this matter to me? you may ask.) That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” ― N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society

What you think of yourself is very much


Jim Cathcart is the author of 16 books, a Hall of Fame professional speaker and the creator of over 100 brief video lessons on His brief TEDx talk on How To Believe in Yourself now has over 460,000 views. View it for free at:




hat comes to mind when you think of a person with high self-esteem? Often when we think of people with high self-esteem we associate the concept with famous people, confident celebrities, or powerful politicians. Self-esteem is within all of us. Some people believe that self-esteem is a born trait



meaning you either have it or you do not. I disagree. Self-esteem is the inner confidence that a person can and should cultivate within. How we choose to use and develop it makes the difference in our lives. One healthy part of self-esteem is knowing when it is a self job and when to call in others to support you.

A quote that often supports me in my work is: “Sometimes you have to believe in other people’s belief in you until your own belief kicks in.“

esteem to the next level this summer. Build a self-esteem team and meet with them regularly.

This summer I invite you to expand your self-esteem by building your own personal board of directors. A group of 5-7 people you can source when your selfesteem is a little low. Keys to building your “Self-Esteem Team” 1. Get clear about your intention for a self-esteem team. Is this a group to provide their opinions or experience? Are they personal friends, professional friends or both? 2. Make a list of potential names. Each person must truly authentically believe in you, one might say they love you unconditionally. 3. Select 5-7 people to support you in the way you desire to grow. 4. Ask thoughtfully – letting each person know why they have been selected what you want them to bring and in some cases what you don’t want them to provide. 5. Your Esteem-Team should include someone to support you in friendship, education, fitness, business, money, and the key areas that are important to you. Similar to a business board of directors your “Self-Esteem Team” may have members who become close and stay on “the team” for years and you may have others who stay for a project or two. Yes, self-esteem has 100% confidence in you. Is it time for you to take your self-


Holly Duckworth, LSP, CAE, CMP. A nationally recognized author, speaker and coach for conscious leadership and motivation. Holly is a regular columnist for MeetingsNet/IdeaExchange, Association Trends and writes regularly on the future of leadership for Science of Mind magazine. Join Holly in the conversation. Listen/watch her weekly show “Presence: How to Live & Lead Consciously.” Available on iTunes. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Learn more at, visit her on LinkedIn & follow her on twitter at @hduckworth.


I really want to be. Usually, it isn’t the puddle of misery I’m currently in. Drama forces me to choose who I want to be. It is in that moment of despair that I get to really look at the choices that brought me to that low and evaluate my role in creating it. Of course, I can play the game that it was all about ‘them’ and what ‘they’ did to me that caused it, or, I can get real and own my own game. The owning of my game is where my true strength springs forth.



I like drama. I know, as fully actualized human beings, we aren’t supposed to ‘like’ drama but to be quite honest, drama has taught me more in my life than the good times. When my life is sunshine and roses, I feel good but I don’t accomplish really big things. It’s kind of hard to admit that it takes

drama to shift me out of patterns that are unhealthy, but it’s true. For me, it isn’t the absence of drama as the goal, it’s learning the lessons from the drama that spirals me to the next level and gets me to growth. When I’ve been kicked in the teeth, pulled down to my raw emotions and crying my eyes out, I get to choose who

If I really embrace that I somehow, someway, created the circumstance I find myself in, then I can create a way out. I am the maker of the game and that is my empowerment. It is a muscle that, when exercised, has the ability to transform me in ways that I currently can’t see or imagine. Just think, if you are truly the master of your life, you created the drama and the situation you are in, and you can also change it. Being the master is power. Drama serves a great purpose in forcing us to choose what’s important for our growth and survival. If you really want a good life, then looking at the drama on your doorstep is a good place to start. If I’m creating it, then it’s mine, and I get the opportunity to master what is holding me back from my intended purpose. The work of transforming yourself is some of the hardest work you will do. As I embarked on the journey myself, the hardest lesson I had to learn was that I choose whether I am a victim to life or a victor. It wasn’t the absence of drama that got me to that point, but going through those tribulations is when I began to emerge. Instead of seeing drama as a hindrance, I take it as a challenge and testament to who and what I am. If you are looking to be fully actualized, then it isn’t the absence of drama that defines you but how you navigate its impact. When you make


friends with the process, you begin to overcome it. I don’t run from drama anymore or judge it as ‘bad’ or something to avoid. I see it as an opportunity to expand my current circumstance and change direction. As a plant needs to push through the soil to emerge to the light, so do we if we want to grow to new heights and possibilities. Embrace drama as an opportunity to jettison you to new vistas of awareness and see how your life blossoms in ways that will continually amaze you. Be the master and harvest the life you always wanted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gina Geldbach-Hall is an inspirational speaker, author, life coach, and facilitator with 25-years of emergency services experience from EMT and firefighter to Battalion Chief. Her book, Firegal... Rising from the Ashes is available on She continues to inspire leadership and service helping others to ignite the flame of empowerment within their lives and work. She is available for coaching and speaking engagements. Visit her website for more information.

“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” Sally Field

or v i v r u S t n Resilie le On Availab m & o Amazon.cN le b o & s e Barn A true story of GROWING through BETRAYAL, DECEPTION and LOSS

BY MARLENE LIVINGSTON CURRY “This is a book about love, betrayal, and a mysterious death. The author, Marlene Livingston Curry, shares her personal journey through devastating circumstances in order for us to understand she has been where we are, hurt as we hurt, and felt complete devastation from the secret betrayal of the person she loved the most. She then shows us how to reclaim our self-worth, resolve the shame issues we may be dealing with, and rise to new levels of selfconfidence, happiness, and success. Within these pages, you will find practical ways to meet challenges, overcome difficulties, and give up any feelings of brokenness.” —Judi Moreo, author, You Are More Than Enough “This book is both inspirational and practical. It is the kind of book you will keep close at hand, refer to often, and actually use. It is full of simple, yet profoundly effective techniques that anyone can use to regain and maintain self-worth and confidence.” —Mary Monaghan, author, Remember Me?

“This is a book I will keep and give to others, to my friends who are grieving. Marlene writes from a calamitous experience and offers advice of various ways of coping with the issues following the death of a loved one.” —Kathie Slaughter, Retired teacher

WWW.MARLENECURRY.COM Marlene Livingston Curry is available for lectures and workshops based on her book Resilient Survivor.



hat would happen if you simply made a choice every day to live an authentic life? This is what I have been consciously doing for many years now. Not that I’ve always done an amazing job at it, but I certainly have worked hard at making the daily effort. There are days when all the planets align and dancing unicorns parade around all of my good fortune. Ok, maybe there really aren’t dancing unicorns but in those moments, this is what I like to imagine would be happening.


Those are the days I feel so alive. Words of encouragement flow out so easily to everyone that comes across my path. I simply think and feel beautiful in those moments. My heart is aliened with my highest calling. I’m doing and being the person I know I was destined to be. This space in time brings me to that place I like to call” living from the heart. “ It’s the place where gratitude resides and possibilities are endless. I believe our best work comes from within this sacred space. So I dare ask the question, if life is so amazing, why do we still have those moments when we struggle? If life has these beautiful moments of bliss and happiness, why then do we have these moments or sometimes seasons? Why do we still see the ugly face of selfdoubt staring back at us in the mirror? Weren’t we just the other day running around feeling courageous and full of hope? We had found our rhythm, so to say. We were ending each day with a heart filled with such excitement that we thought it might simply burst? New relationships were promising. Our jobs were going amazing. Our dreams were becoming a reality. And then it hits us. Out of the blue. You know what I’m talking about. The self-doubt. The negative


self-talk. The other voice in your head that reminds you that you’ve failed in the past. That you are “less than.” That success really is out of your reach. So, the downhill spiral begins. Sometimes, we simply pass through this dark valley of self-doubt only to pitch a small tent and then we quickly move through it. Then, there are the times we end up buying real estate in the valley of self-doubt

and staying longer then we ever should. Having personally passed through these valleys and having spent many hours engaged in conversation with others, asking why they to have these discouraging moments in the valley, here is some of what I have found. Each and every living soul has a story. From birth to where they are in the present, every person has had experiences that have shaped

2017 SPRING ISSUE | CHOICES 41 us and become a part of our story… good or bad, beautiful or sad. These stories rattle around in our hearts and determine so much of who we are and what we become. I’ll go as far as saying it’s even what we sometimes believe to actually be true about ourselves. Behind every accomplishment or failure, there is a story. Your story travels around with you like a piece of luggage or a big U-Haul truck. I believe it really comes down to making a conscious choice on what stories we choose to take on our travels. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to do some DE-cluttering of old stories throughout my lifetime. If not, I might have been dragging a semi truck around behind me! Living from the heart takes courage and perseverance sometimes. A few years back, I was a young blue-eyed girl who had big dreams. I lived in Northern California and was determined to make my mark in the world, somehow, someway. I eventually left the beautiful valley and moved to Southern California. During my time there, I had many opportunities to truly live from the heart and to be the authentic person who loves life and people. One particular opportunity came across my path. I entered a beauty pageant. Yes, I said, Beauty Pageant. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. You see, there was this other story rattling around in my head telling me all the reasons why I shouldn’t do it. You’re too old. You’re unqualified. You don’t have the time to do something like this. You might make a fool of yourself. You’re not pretty enough, smart enough and so on. My heart, on the other hand, was saying what a wonderful opportunity to meet some amazing like-minded women. My heart was saying, “Can you imagine one day sitting down with your grandbabies and telling the story of how their Mimi participated in a beauty pageant. What

if there is a particular woman there who you are supposed to encourage?” It was in those moments that I had to silence the old stories and make the choice to live from the heart without fear and selfdoubt. My heart said, “Let’s do this!” So I did. Fast forward to the night of the pageant. I had the time of my life. I was able to be a positive force to the amazing women I met. I loved each judge I met and the conversations we shared during the interview portion of the pageant. The best part of the whole experience is that I now will have the chance in the future to sit down with my grandbabies and share with them that their Mimi not only ran in a beauty pageant but that she was given the honor and was crowned Mrs. California that night! I would have missed this wonderful life changing opportunity if I had listened to the old story of self-doubt in my head. I would have missed an entire year of traveling throughout my state, meeting wonderful individuals, participating in television interviews, singing the national anthem for CNN televised sports events, talking at school assemblies, encouraging our youth of the day, becoming a published author and so much more. By choosing to live from the heart, I was given a wonderful blessing. A story line that was far more exciting and bigger than any dream I could have ever dreamed for myself. This is what can happen when we live from the heart. There’s no doubt in my mind that we are each given opportunities to be our best and most authentic selves. There’s also no doubt that we have been carrying around old stories that are not serving us well. When was the last time you did some DE-cluttering of your own personal stories? If you are finding yourself coming up with excuses as to why you can’t accomplish something, then you’ve probably got an old story rattling around in there. In all reality, you have already been equipped

to accomplish something great. If you find you are self-sabotaging your efforts for change and amazing opportunities, then you are probably listening to your old stories. If so, ask yourself, what are you waiting for? It’s time to pull up the stakes from your tent or maybe even sell the real estate you’ve been hanging onto in the valley of self-doubt. There’s never been a better time than now to rewrite your story and start living from the heart. New adventures are waiting. New friendships are ready to be established. Dreams are waiting to become a reality. People need to hear your story. When we live from the heart, we are being our authentic, beautiful, amazing, creative selves. Choose to live life from the heart. The world needs more people like YOU!


Shana Kai has been in the beauty industry for 32 years. She is a Licensed Master Esthetician, Licensed Instructor, Certified Professional Makeup Artist, Certified Eyelash Extension Instructor, Owner of an accredited cosmetology academy, Melange Boutique and Studio, and Inspired Beauty Salon.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” __________________ Howard Washington Thurman




e was a prosperous CEO in his 50’s. Although he was successful in business, he was always very guarded and had issues with intimacy. Sometimes I would catch a glimpse of the little boy inside; shy, unsure, and craving validation. He would peek out of those blue eyes once in a while. Make no mistake, the struggle was still real. It’s not easy to be vulnerable. Inside all of us is that little child we once were. And while we all have trials, some people seem to handle life better than others. Does it have anything to do with their childhood? If so, what can we do to help the children in our lives to become self-assured adults? Plenty! I know you can raise a kid’s feelings of intrinsic value because I’ve done it. For two decades, I dedicated my life to teaching at-risk kids who grow up with little support and guidance. I’d like to share a few ideas so you can help the children in your life develop a positive outlook and feelings of self-worth. The Formative Years While children are developing their opinions about the world, they are also forming opinions about themselves. Am I lovable? Am I competent? Do I matter to anyone? When I look back over my time teaching children, there were two things, per-


haps the two biggest factors that made a difference: unconditional acceptance and opportunities for success. Certainly, these are things adults can do to bolster children’s confidence, self-appreciation, and ability to do well in life. The most well- known idea is to regularly offer kind words of affirmation. “That was hard work, but you did it. Good job!” “I am so proud of you for telling the truth even though it was difficult to do. Well done.” Validation Children need to be accepted unconditionally. When you value children for who they are, not what they do, you validate them. Try this: Make the child feel worthy of love and acceptance no matter what. “You are OK but what you did was not OK” is a much better message than “You are bad.” Laugh together about messing up. Tell them it’s important to make mistakes because that is how we learn, and find the lesson in it. Share your mistakes, too. Accomplishment Why does a child bring you a flower or dance for you? In all children, there is an innate desire to contribute. It makes the child feel accomplished. He feels able and competent. This makes him feel secure in the environment. When a child gives to the group, creates something of value, or hones a skill or ability, he or she feels good. And when you foster this growth, you are contributing to that child’s survival. For to live well is to give.

Try this: Provide the little ones in your life with regular opportunities to develop, contribute, and perform. Give them ample opportunities. They have will power. Use it! Give them choice within structure so they can get messy and make mistakes. There’s no question that the relationship with a parent or care-giver has a direct correlation to a child’s self-esteem. Even teachers, neighbors, and relatives can be a resource to children. If you know a child, you can have a positive effect on his or her feelings of self-worth.


Laura Porreca has three decades of experience in the field of education. As a National Board Certified Teacher, she empowered both instructors and students. Laura now works with leaders in the business world to upgrade their executive skills with efficient knowledge transfer strategies. Sign up for her communication tips today at

“Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.” André Gide





efore my seven-yearold daughter leaves for school in the morning, I remind her that she is kind, important, and beautiful. These words roll off my tongue so easily because they are true. I have a harder time telling myself these traits are true about me. But though it’s more challenging to see these traits in the reflection staring back at me— knowing firsthand the inner struggles, the first fine lines, the moments of less than perfection—affirming myself is just as important as affirming her. If I’m trying to instill strong core beliefs in her,

but don’t act like I’m worthy of them, she’ll have a harder time believing what I tell her. Developing a positive self-esteem doesn’t happen easily for most of us, but if we’re intentional with our affirmations, our atmosphere, and our outlook, we’ll continue growing stronger in this regard daily. Affirmations I wish I hadn’t waited to write out a list of positive affirmations until I was in my thirties. Had I known the importance of saying such truths aloud as, “I’m capable. I’m important. I’m loved by God,” I

would have started my list before those uncertain pre-teen years struck. But when faced with a strenuous season of anxiety about five years ago, my husband highly encouraged me to draft a list. He told me about the power of the spoken word, having read about it from such leaders as John Maxwell and Dale Carnegie. While it seemed silly to talk to myself aloud at first, I noticed my voice took on more strength after only five statements. Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of the popular “Switch On Your Brain,” tells us that, “Words are the symbolic output of the exceptional processes happening on micro anatomical, epigenetic and


genetic levels in the brain. They contain power to make or break you, your loved ones, your colleagues and your friends.” Time spent reiterating our self-worth aloud has a positive outcome not only on ourselves, but enriches the relationships with those around us. Atmosphere I’ve learned firsthand that surrounding myself with encouraging, uplifting individuals helps boost my self-esteem. Being an empathetic person with a quieter disposition, I used to strive after friendships, even when they weren’t working both ways. It was after realizing the difference…that true friends show up in times of celebration and in times of

distress, I wasn’t interested in surface relationships anymore. I’m also fortunate enough to have an aunt I look to as a mentor. While my relationship with her isn’t the same as it is with some of my girlfriends who meet and discuss our similar seasons in life, it helps to have someone there who has my back. As my mentor, she’s given me helpful advice on a range of life topics, and I am greatly enriched in looking to someone with wisdom, heart, and experience. Being around her for even half an hour boosts my self-esteem. Outlook There’s a sign on the bulletin board in our kitchen which says, “There is al-

ways something to be grateful for,” and it helps center me. When you feel your natural outlook is a little more “glass half empty,” you realize there’s usually no good reason for that and start to understand how blessed you truly are. When you’re not taking life for granted, you’re not so easily ensnared by your real or perceived imperfections. Instead of thinking about what you don’t have-a life free of obstacles-you start to focus on the resources given to you and begin prioritizing what’s really important. For me that includes continuing to grow my own self-esteem so I have more to give others, especially to my seven-year-old little girl who looks forward to getting off the school bus every day to spend time with me.


Alisa Weis holds a BA in English Lit/ Writing from Whitworth University (2003) and a Master in Secondary Education (2007) from the University of Phoenix. When she’s not teaching or writing, she enjoys attending personal growth seminars, exploring new coffeehouses, and spending time with her husband and their two children. Weis recently published her first novel, “Swiftwater.” To read more, please visit





used to believe that confidence had to be earned. The more success you had, the more reason you had to be confident. It puzzled me how some people could have such high self-esteem without achieving an equivalent level of success. It took years of research and life experience to uncover the secret to self-esteem. I don’t mean to be one of those guys that claim to have discovered a cure-all, but it must be a secret or there would not be so many people suffering from low self-esteem. What I have found to be the number one trait in people with higher self-esteem is a developed faith. I am not necessarily talking about faith in God, though that certainly helps. I am referring to the faith in knowing that things are going to work out. Developing your faith will help you get unstuck and accomplish more. The first step to making any change is to understand where you are currently. To help, I have identified three types of people. The first is the person who is happy most the time. They believe in all things positive and they have complete confidence. The next also believes in all things positive. That is to say, they believe it is possible because they see it work for other people. They just don’t think it can work for them. This person often wonders, “When is it going to be my turn?” Then, there are the angry people. They have had about all they can handle. They are tired of hearing that everything that goes wrong in life

is because they willed it to be so. The difference is the level of faith each has in things will work out in the end. Which person do you identify with? Developing faith is the result of our education and experience. We are either taught that everything will be okay, or to be afraid of consequences. Fear has a way of blocking self-esteem. What we have been taught influences how we view our experiences. When we fear that things will not work out, we tend to fixate on the problems and

feel sorry for ourselves. The longer we stare at any problem, the bigger it gets. Conversely, when we approach a problem with confidence that it will work out, it’s easier to adapt and move in a new direction, taking our eyes off the problem. In addition to our own education and experiences, we can often borrow the experiences of others to develop our faith. By listening to, or reading about people who have overcome great obstacles, we see that things can work


out. That is why we all love movies, we like the hero’s journey. When we spend time immersed in a world of positive outcomes, we begin to believe that it is possible for us, too. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to watch a Rocky movie and not shadow box for a week. I don’t think it can be done. We begin to see ourselves in the hero’s shoes.

who have overcome tremendous circumstances. I wanted to provide an opportunity for them to share their stories and strategies with others. Through sharing our stories, audiences get to add the experience of being an eye witness to that success. Join us August 19th at the Smith Center, Las Vegas as we share stories to help develop one another’s faith. For more info, visit:

I developed the Unstuck Happiness Conferences because I have been blessed to know some amazing people


Would you like to live UNSTUCK and accomplish more? then you don’t want miss this event…

John Polish is an internationally recognized author, motivational speaker, and the host of the popular radio talk show, Finding Your Happiness. John’s books “Finding Your Happiness” and “A Healthier Happier Business” and seminars have helped people start businesses, save marriages and fight depression. John has a unique and systematic approach to helping people pick themselves up and move forward, so that circumstances do not dictate their happiness. He shares some of the same strategies he used to get unstuck after the passing of his only child, his daughter Abigail.

Saturday August 19th 2017 at

The Smith Center for Performing Arts Featuring 12 amazing speakers sharing stories of overcoming tremendous adversity and strategies they used to get UNSTUCK. Bonus - Topic specific Lunch and Learn sessions on getting UNSTUCK from grief, depression and careers.

John may be contacted at:


Summer. That magical time of year with long golden evenings and sunny blue days when we celebrate dining outdoors on grilled meats and fresh vegetables. I like to roam any of the dozen farmers markets in our area and see what special treasures the booths offer. If a lucky day, I’ll find purple basil to conjure up an especially pungent Caprese Salad to go with a juicy T-bone or thick slab of salmon seared on a real charcoal fire.


ne of the keys to a savory barbequing experience is the addition of aromatic and flavorful wood chips readily available in most supermarkets and online. Remember to close the lid to allow the fragrant smoke to penetrate. Whether you prefer Hickory or Mesquite, Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrel or Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, you’re sure to add extra punch to the meats, fish or poultry you grill. The various woods, of which the most common are alder, apple, cherry, hickory, maple, oak or pecan, each have their particular intensity and flavor and are paired better with some protein than others. Another option for adding tang is the generous sprinkling on the coals of fresh herbs such as rosemary or sage. The lush, heady flavor permeates whatever is on the grill but is especially delicious with vegetables, chicken and fish.

See what dishes and glasses you have in your cupboard and come up with a color scheme. Limit to a maximum of two colors if possible, and use your fantasy to make, for instance, a teapot into a vase.


Branches of rosemary are a favorite of mine when grilling lamb and fresh figs. It’s not at every market that I can find purple basil, but the familiar green variety is sold as plants in most grocery outlets. In fact, the flavor difference between purple and standard green is so intense, that you might find yourself preferring the milder familiar over the more pungent exotic. Like all tasty dishes, a Caprese salad starts with the best and freshest ingredients. Ripe tomatoes. Fresh basil. High quality buffalo mozzarella cheese. High quality virgin olive oil. Rock salt is my preference but a good crunchy Kosher will also do. Fresh ground pepper finishes the dish. I’ve heard of people using vinegar, but I never ate a Caprese served with other than olive oil during my visits to Italy. CAPRESE SALAD INGREDIENTS: • Ripe tomatoes, either red or heirloom • Buffalo mozzarella • Basil leaves. Note: purple basil is much stronger and has a decidedly “licorice” cast. My advice is to chop coarsely and sprinkle lightly, rather than serve whole leaves as with normal basil. • Virgin olive oil • Rock or coarse salt • Fresh ground pepper ASSEMBLY: • Slice the tomatoes either in wedges or rondelles. • Slice the mozzarella to same scale as tomato. • Place tomatoes on a platter or deep dish.

The key to the most delicious Caprese Salad is freshness and quality of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need. Note the purple basil, much more intense than green, and best with chopped leaves rather than whole.

Classic Caprese salad arranged with whole basil leaves.


• If using wedges, alternate tomato, cheese and basil leaf (unless purple) to form a “chain.” • If using sliced tomatoes, arrange on the plate in a single layer, with a slice of mozzarella and a basil leaf on each slice. • If using purple basil, chop coarsely and sprinkle on top of either wedges or slices. • Salt heavily. Note: tomatoes need a lot of salt to bring out flavor. • Drizzle generously with olive oil. What settles in the dish becomes the dressing. • Grind a very moderate amount of fresh black pepper over the whole.


Born with wanderlust, forever living in a fantasy world, S.L. Gore escaped the prairies of Kansas and followed the yellow brick road on an odyssey that took her around the world. Love of history, languages, mysticism, food, shopping and romance helped create her romantic time travel thrillers of the Isis Trilogy. Her Sex and the Zen of Shopping is a self-help for the spirit and how-to for the practical. Joyously married, she and her Viking husband live in Coastal California.

IMPORTANT: Let the salad sit at least 15 minutes. Half an hour is best, allowing the flavors to meld and creating the wonderful olive oil “dressing” that can be spooned over the Caprese salad when served–or sopped up with fresh or toasted French bread. YUMMY! Suggested Summer Menu: • Aperol Spritzes for cocktails • Corn on the cob, boiled and then grilled at last minute • Caprese Salad with crusty French bread • Halibut grilled with apple chips and topped with diced fresh papaya (serve with icy Prosecco) OR • NY Strip steaks grilled with mesquite wood chips and sliced 1/4”1/2” thick (serve with Zinfandel) OR • Chicken thighs marinated in equal parts lime juice, olive oil and soy, then grilled on Jack Daniels Bourbon chips (serve with chilled Cote de Provence Rosé) • Vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches and strawberries (serve with a chilled Moscato)

Summer’s delight is an Aperol Spritz. I first tasted these wonderful concoctions at the Opera House Cafe in Naples, Italy. Start with a big wine glass, add lots of ice, a slice of orange, 1 part Aperol, 2 parts Prosecco, finish with 1 part Club Soda and stir with a straw.



I’m a runner, too,” he blurted out with a sly grin. “Maybe we should knock out a few miles sometime,” he added.

“Sure,” she answered. “I’d like that.” Over the weeks that followed the banter grew, from friendly back and forth to playful trash talk, amusing commentary about trails of dust and the back of his disappearing head. If only he knew.

When he proposed a race, she agreed without hesitation. “No pain, no gain,” he cried out to no one in particular as he pounded down the asphalt at a blistering pace. She smiled and trailed a few yards behind, quiet, steady. “I’m feelin’ the pain, so I must be getting’ the gain.” He glanced over at her. She kept gliding along the road, content to let him surge ahead.

The verbal sparring reached new heights the night before over dinner and though she recognized it all in jest, she felt the familiar bile creep into her stomach, the stirring of that dark place that she both accepted and embraced yet still brought up shame. It was what it was. It was who she was. She would not lose. In bed, almost unconsciously, she spent


a few minutes visualizing the contest.

It hurt. So what?

She had never followed the course though she knew the finish line.

A lot of things hurt.

She needed nothing else. “Looks like it might rain,” she said, her first words. “Do we need to stop?” he queried with a half-smirk. “No,” she responded softly. “No rain, no gain.” He laughed at his own joke. “Maybe it’ll help me grow.” At the fifteen minute mark, she began to accelerate, lengthened her stride a half step. She had only one fear, that he might have a strong kick for the last stretch and that his longer legs could carry him more quickly at the very end. She would wear him out long before then. There would be no kick, of that she would make sure.

The indomitable fury that fueled the drive simmered beneath the surface.

They walked the last ten yards and crossed together, no words exchanged. None needed. That’s A View From The Ridge...

She knew it had nothing to do with him. It didn’t matter. She had no on-off switch nor other measure of control, though personal work over the years held it in check, hidden under a mostly pleasant veneer. The battle belonged to her, with herself, and for the most part, she managed to keep it private. As he fell behind, she slowed down, long enough for him to catch up, then drove again, unconscious of her no-prisoners approach or lack of mercy. One more curve, one more street, done. Down the final third of a mile stretch, for a brief moment she glimpsed terror, a fleeting notion that maybe he had enough juice for a burst.

“Shall we do the three and a half or the four and a half loop?” He asked.

Sucking for air, she forced a torrid rate, each foot rushing past the other beneath her—it could not be.

“Whatever you think,” she replied.

No, it could not.

“For the four and a half, you hang a right—otherwise, go straight,” he tacked on.

She left him in her wake with a widening gap though drew little satisfaction from it.

She turned right.

It simply had to be that way, that’s all.

As the lactic acid squeezed the fibers in her thighs and calves, she pressed harder, driving past the pain, beyond the burn.

Fifty yards from the finish line, she stopped and began to walk. He caught up and stopped beside her.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Author and International Speaker, Ridgely Goldsborough, believes in taking complex and challenging topics and making sense out of them. He started his first business at age 16 and since graduating from Law School in 1987 has founded 43 companies. Ridgely’s team manages several active websites in multiple business verticals and he speaks in both English and Spanish, as an expert in online marketing. He has written 12 books, hosted his own television show and created dozens of audio and video programs on success and prosperity. In addition, Ridgely is the author of The WHY Advantage for Business, a revolutionary marketing and messaging program used to attract ideal clients based on a company’s WHY. He is a frequent speaker at top internet marketing conferences and a facilitator and trainer for high-level CEO masterminds. Ridgely may be contacted via ridgelyg@ or (850) 291-6575



Life is a succession of choices! You have the ability to choose. Expose yourself to opportunities. This is often a matter of planning properly and working your plan. A plan without action is not going to bring any success. It is shocking to know that with all the information and opportunities available to us today, so many people are still feeling lost, afraid, and hurt. Much of that is from focusing on the past. The past is over. There is nothing you can do about it now. Focus forward! Expose yourself to opportunities. Be sure you

are in the right place at the right time. Associate with people who are doing things and going places. We learn behaviors and habits from the people we spend time with. It is important for you to spend time with people who are doing what you want to do. Go after what you want with a vengeance. Success is as competitive as any sport. Don’t sit back and wait for it to come to you. Get out there. Do something. Don’t underestimate yourself. You can do whatever you set your mind to do. Turn off those

negative and doubtful tapes playing in your brain. Turn on your affirmations daily. You have the ability to choose. Choose purpose! Choose power! Choose high self-esteem!


You Are More Than You Think You Are,

Choices Magazine - Summer 2017  

The Self-Esteem Issue

Choices Magazine - Summer 2017  

The Self-Esteem Issue